The Family

2333 Words10 Pages
Is ‘the family’ dying out in modern Britain or is it just changing?
The family can be defined as having two people or more, who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption, and who all live together. The 1980 Current Population Survey stated that ‘unrelated subfamilies are not included in the count of families or the count of family members’. (Census, Guidance and Methodology, 2011). The typical family used to be the nuclear family but statistics show that nowadays only 20% of them are, and the majority is not. This shows a large pattern of family diversity within modern Britain. Within the past 20 years there have been some major changes to family structures in modern Britain, which include the large rise in divorce rates; there has been a big increase in the number of women working, availability of contraception and equal rights. Within some communities different types of family change and as they become more urbanised then the family size tends to decrease. I am going to study different perspectives, including Functionalist, Marxist and feminist views on the family.
Functionalists see the family as based on a value consensus which is where there is a community which has a set of shared values and norms which allows society to work together to achieve the needs of the society. Functionalists also believe that families that include both a mother and a father playing their relevant roles are extremely important for the family and also for the wider society and community. Within the family the mother and father teach the children certain norms and values which are needed to help society to be maintained, so Functionalists say that both the mother and father figure need to be present within a child’s life so that it helps them to...

... middle of paper ...

...ue to the Children and Adoption Act 2002. Also because of the divorce act another family type that has become more common is the single parent family and this may be because the divorce process is a lot easier to complete. Overall I think that the family isn’t dying out, it is just changing structures and types and this can be because of the introduction of new laws and also the change of laws and policies. In addition to this many people do not feel as if they have to be part of the nuclear family as there is a lot more choice and variety in modern Britain, and I feel that the nuclear family is no longer the norm in today’s society like it used to be. In conclusion to this a quote from the BBC states that ‘So while the traditional model of a family may no longer be true in modern Britain, the modern family continues to raise happy, successful children’. (BBC, 2009)
Open Document